We bring to your attention interesting solutions for low-current improvised electrical devices – flashlights, chargers, lighters. The article contains detailed photos and video instructions on how to collect original sources of electricity from improvised means with your own hands.
It’s no secret that energy literally surrounds us and its carriers can be not only valuable minerals – oil, gas, coal, but also metals, carbohydrates, objects that move due to natural reasons. Let’s take a closer look at how you can extract electrical energy from improvised means.
In this section, we will clearly demonstrate the ability to extract electricity using a chemical and electrolytic reaction..
Coal batteries from aluminum cans
Ordinary carbon batteries can be made by hand. For this we need:
- Two 0.5 l beverage cans.
- Two graphite rods Ø 15–20 mm in length along the height of the can + 20–30 mm.
- Plain coal or ash.
- Paraffin or wax.
- Several copper wires, knife.
The method provides for an enlarged reconstruction of miniature batteries for household appliances.
- Cut the tops of the cans, leaving the sides.
- Install 30 mm foam on the bottom.
- Install the rods inside the cans, immersing them in the foam.
- Cover sinuses with charcoal. 10-15 mm should remain to the edge of the can.
- Fill the sinuses with salted water (1 tablespoon per 1 liter).
- Pour melted paraffin or wax into the empty space in the jar (up to the top).
Each of the cans will be identical in energy capacity to one 1.5 V finger-type battery.They can be connected in series, recharged and used in household appliances – a clock, a receiver, LED lamps.
Tin can batteries – step by step video
Electricity from oxidation
Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are energy sources for the human body. It is extracted through reactions in the stomach and intestines. Namely – when the stomach acid acts on the carbohydrate, the energy contained in it is released. What if we try to replace stomach acid with a more familiar one – acetic?
For experience we need:
- Refined sugar – 2 pieces.
- Anodized self-tapping screws 15 mm – 2 pcs. (copper-plated and galvanized).
- 1.5 V diode bulb with wires.
- We drill (not completely!) Holes in the sugar.
- Carefully, so as not to crush the refined sugar, we screw in the screws.
- We connect the wiring of the light bulb to the heads of the screws.
- Moisten the refined sugar with vinegar.
Video on how to extract electricity from sugar
Of course, it’s not about sugar, but about the chemical oxidation of copper and zinc. Refined sugar is only an acid retention agent. At the point of contact between the oxidized surfaces and the acid, an electrochemical reaction occurs with the release of a small amount of energy. Theoretically, refined sugar can be replaced with a dense sponge, but the screws will completely oxidize over time and become unusable.
This effect is described more clearly and accurately in a similar experiment with lemons..
Electricity from lemon – video tutorial
And a very popular way using potatoes.
Video – how to extract current from potatoes
Emergency power source
The principle described above can be used to create a charger from available tools. This will require simple parts that can be found in the waste material for disposal after repair..
To create an energy source you will need:
- U-shaped galvanized plasterboard hangers (thickness does not matter) – 10 pcs.
- Thin copper wire – 15 m.
- Thin cotton fabric – a few rags, as a last resort – toilet paper.
- Water, salt.
Work progress (for one battery):
1. Wrap the plates with cloth (or paper) in 2 layers.
2. Wrap the wire over the fabric (not thick, the fabric should be visible).
3. Release copper wires from each element.
4. Wrap the element with fabric again and fix with threads.
5. Moisten the cloth with salted water and keep it wet.
One element produces approximately 0.33 V. For the LED to burn, 5 elements are enough, to recharge the phone 13-14 pcs..
Electricity will be generated while the oxidation reaction is in progress, i.e. as long as there is electrolyte between different metals (salted water). If the element is dry, it is enough to wet it and the reaction will resume until the brine has corroded the zinc coating. Ideally, it is better to use fully zinc plates.
Individual parts and salt can be taken with you on a hike or you can keep ready-made items with a candle in case of a power outage. When darkness falls, all that remains is to connect them together and moisten.
The gases that make up the atmospheric air have a common property – they can get very hot with increasing pressure. This effect can be used to craft an Eternal Lighter. The manufacturing method will require locksmith skills.
For work you will need:
- Round bar, possibly soft metal (copper, aluminum) Ø 30 mm and 200 mm long.
- Steel rod O 10 mm and length 200 mm.
- Rubber rings from a plumbing set.
- Cotton fabric, foil.
- Access to the lathe.
- Drill out a thick rod for the diameter of a thin one + 1 mm (cylinder).
- Make grooves for compression rings on a thin rod (piston).
- Drill a recess at the end of the piston.
- Install rubber rings in grooves.
- Wrap the fabric in foil and burn on the fire (tinder).
In order to use a lighter, you need to put a tinder in the recess of the piston and insert it into the cylinder. Then sharply apply a force along the axis of the piston and remove it from the cylinder. The tinder at the end will smolder and you can fan the flame from it. This effect is used in diesel engines..
Pneumatic lighter in action on video
The examples described above may not be of high practical value, but they clearly demonstrate the possibilities of obtaining alternative energy for solving daily problems. In the following articles, we will look at other ways to realize natural and magnetic energy..